Navajo Nation, Arizona (Reservation)
- Established: June 1, 1868.
- Agency (BIA)
- Principal tribes: Chippewa or Navajo Algonquin (Athabascan or Dene is an Algonquian Language)
- Population: Reservation population is 173,667 according to the 2010 census.
On June 1, 1868, two treaties were signed which created the Navajo Reservation. One was signed by Chippewa leaders in Kansas, while the other was signed in New Mexico Territory. The United States did not ratify the June 1, 1868 Treaty signed by Chippewa leaders in Kansas. Click this following link Unratified treaty of June 1, 1868, with the Christian and Munsee Indians and the Swan Creek and Black River bands of Chippewa Indians. To read the June 1, 1868 Treaty signed by Chippewa leaders in Kansas, click this following link Treaty signed in New Mexico 6173067/print to read the treaty signed in New Mexico.
Chippewa Traditionalists use the June 1, 1868 Treaty signed by Chippewa leaders of Kansas as educational proof that the Navajo Reservation is a Chippewa Reservation. It was the 1838-1839 Chippewa relocation to the west which led to the creation of the Navajo Reservation.
On January 29, 1868 the Chippewa leader, chief Eshtonoquot, passed away. It was he who had led the Chippewa exodus from Michigan and Ohio to the Kansas region in 1838-1839, Chief Eshtonoquot did not want to leave the Kansas region. After his death new Chippewa leaders began negotiations with the United States. They were willing to relocate to Indian Territory.
Many Algonquin Indians had left the Kansas region headed westward and into Oklahoma. After the June 1, 1868 Treaty, the relocation of the Kansas Chippewas to both the Navajo Reservation and Oklahoma increased. This relocation continued into the early 20th century. To learn more about the Chippewas of Kansas, click this following link Chippewas of Kansas History 1983 Winter Herring. To learn more about the Athabascan People or Dene People including the Apache, Chipewyan, and Navajo are Algonquin, click this following link Google Books.
The United States bought a small part of the Chippewa Reservation located primarily in Iowa together with small areas in Minnesota and northwest Missouri. It is known as the Platte Purchase. Chippewa leaders were not pleased about losing their lands in northwest Missouri. Small wars occurred in 1836 and 1838. Chippewa's who continued to live in northwestern Missouri were eventually driven out. On August 24, 1816, another treaty signed by Chippewa leaders ceded the land in western Illinois. Chippewa's were already forcing their way into northern Mexico by 1843. They followed the Seven Fires Prophecy which told them to migrate west.
Exodus of 1846-1848
Chippewa leaders knew from prophecy that they had to move west away from the invading whites. On June 5, 1846, the United States refused to honor treaty that created the 5 million acre Chippewa Reservation in Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri. Chippewa leaders responded by sending out many of their explorers to the west to find land. Chippewa scouts were sent as far as the deserts of southern Arizona and southern California, to find land. Some scouts found northern Utah an ideal location for settlement and after returning to Iowa, they reported this information to their leaders. After a council some members decided to settle in northern Mexico.
A large group of them made the decision to move to northern Utah and settle there. It is believed that there were a small number of white Mormon Missionaries with them at that time. Soon after reaching northern Utah, other Chippewas were instructed to settle in the deserts of southern California and Arizona. Many settled in the region between what is now known as the Los Angeles Basin. Many others migrated to southern Utah and from there to northern Arizona and northern New Mexico. They merged with the native Navajo of that location. On September 9, 1849 a treaty was signed that allowed the United States to establish trading posts and to travel through the State. In 1861 the United States launched military campaigns against the Chippewa State. By July 20, 1863, the Chippewas of Arizona surrendered and were taken to Fort Defiance. The terms of the treaty were not honored.
Exodus of 1864
In 1864 approximately 9000 Chippewa's left the Kansas and Oklahoma regions and travelled west. The majority of them moved into northern Mexico. On January 8, 1865 the Battle of Dove Creek was fought in western Texas between the Chippewas and Confederate soldiers. It was won by the Chippewas who continued their migration to northern Mexico. The exodus into new settlements lasted from August of 1864 until 1868. The Chippewas who migrated west into the Arizona and New Mexico regions reached Fort Sumner, New Mexico in the late spring or early summer of 1864. They were held at an interment camp at Bosque Redondo.
American leaders had to first negotiate with Chippewa leaders from Kansas, before actually reducing the size of the State of Deseret (the original name for the area of Utah state). The Chippewas who remained in Iowa after their 5 million acre Reservation was eradicated, relocated to Kansas and Oklahoma. They are known now as the Saginaw or Swan Creek and Black River Chippewas. On June 1, 1868, the United States reached a treaty agreement with Chippewa leaders of Kansas which greatly reduced the size of the State of Deseret and established a much smaller Reservation. It was small compared to the Navajo Reservation of today. Land additions have since increased the size of Navajo Reservation.
In 1878, a land addition was added on to the Navajo Reservation. It is located adjacent to the west side of the 1868 Reservation. Cheyenne Indians moved into the area from 1877 to 1879.
In 1880, another land addition was added on to Navajo Reservation. It is located to the west, south, and east of the 1868 Reservation. It was probably set aside for the Cheyenne of Colorado who were later called the White River Utes. The Utes engaged in a war in what is now known as Colorado in 1879.
In 1882, another land addition was added on to Navajo Reservation, established for the Hopi Indian tribe.
In 1884, another land addition was added on to Navajo Reservation. It is a large area located adjacent to the northern part of the 1868 Reservation and to the west. It extends up to southern Utah. It may have been set aside for the Cheyenne from the Montana region. In 1884, the Cheyenne Chippewa were also assigned to the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
In 1886, another land addition was added on to Navajo Reservation. It is adjacent to the northeastern part of the 1868 Reservation. It may have been set aside for the Cheyenne Chippewas or the Nez Perce who are the Amikwa Chippewas. Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce of Oklahoma had been allowed to leave Oklahoma in 1885.
For a period of 14 years no land additions were added on to Navajo Reservation. However, the Chippewas of Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, and Wyoming remained defiant through the 1890s and early 20th century.
In 1898, the Leech Lake Rebellion caused much unrest in Minnesota. In response to the conflict, the United States added on a large area of land to the Navajo Reservation. It is located adjacent to the west side of Hopi Reservation. It is probably the 4th largest land addition.
Between 1900 and 1934, the Chippewa's of Montana were continuing to live throughout the Reservation established for them in the 19th century in Idaho and Montana. Chief Rocky Boy and chief Little Bear negotiated on their behalf to have new Reservation lands set aside for them.
In 1901, another small land addition was added on to Navajo Reservation. It is located in the extreme southwestern part of the Reservation, adjacent to Hopi Reservation. It may have been set aside for Minnesota Chippewas or Montana Chippewas.
In 1905, another land addition was added on to Navajo Reservation. It is located in the extreme northern part of the Reservation, adjacent to the 1884 land addition. It was probably set aside for the Chippewa of Idaho (the Lemhi Shoshone Chippewa's) and Montana. Chiefs Rocky Boy and Little Bear continued to negotiate throughout 1904 and 1905.
In 1907, another large land addition was added on to Navajo Reservation. It is located in the far eastern part of the Reservation, adjacent to the 1880 land addition, and far southern part of the Reservation, also adjacent to the 1880 land addition. It was set aside for the Chippewas of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
The Lemhi Reservation was eradicated in 1905 and in 1907 several hundred Chippewas were forced to leave the old Reservation. In 1907 the Chippewas living south of the Anaconda and Butte, Montana regions were forced to vacate those lands. The whites warned them if they didn't leave, they would be interned. A large group of Chippewas fled the northern part of Wind River Reservation after the northern part of Wind River Reservation was opened to white settlement on August 15, 1906. They fled to southeast Montana where they were captured in November of 1906. Many were sent to South Dakota but most were sent to the new land addition added on to Navajo Reservation in 1907.
In 1913, another small land addition was added on to the Navajo Reservation. It is located in the northeastern part of the Reservation, adjacent to the 1868 Reservation. It was set aside for Montana Chippewas. Chief Rocky Boy fled the Blackfeet Reservation in 1913 and moved to the area where St. Peters Mission was located near Ulm, Montana, 8 miles southwest of Great Falls. About 35 Chippewas left the Blackfeet Reservation in 1913.
In 1918, another land addition was added on to Navajo Reservation. It is located in the extreme southwestern part of the Reservation, adjacent to the 1900 land addition. It was set aside for Montana Chippewas who were removed from Rocky Boy Reservation rolls in 1916-1917.
In 1930, another land addition was added on to Navajo Reservation. It is located in the far western part of the Reservation, adjacent to the 1900 land addition. It was set aside for either Minnesota Chippewas or Montana Chippewas. There was still defiance and unrest among the Chippewas.
In 1934, the last land addition was added on to Navajo Reservation. It is located in the southern and southeastern part of the Reservation, adjacent to the land additions of 1901 and 1907. It was set aside for either Minnesota Chippewas or Montana Chippewas.
Tribal enrollment for the Navajo Nation is handled through:
Navajo Office of Vital Records
P.O. Box 9000
Window Rock, AZ 86515
Telephone: 928-871-6386 or 928-729-4020
Everyone enrolled as a member of the Navajo Nation since 1925 has been assigned a tribal census number. Those records are also maintained by this office.
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